Initial Thought: I have been meaning to watch this for several years. I just never really got the chance to until now. I'm a huge fan of Stephen King. I figured it was finally time to check this out!
Characters/Acting: Ah Ian McKellen playing a Nazi before playing a Jew just like Michael Fassbender. I've been thinking that was pretty interesting to do. It also has a few people I didn't realize were acting in the 90s. A handful of the actors here actually worked together with Bryan Singer in the X-Men series. I find it amusing that Ian McKellen was only in his 50s when he was playing a character in his 70s. Now he would be the actual perfect age to play him again if they remade this or waited until about this time to make it. Todd has to be one of the most messed up teenagers on film. Kurt may have done really awful things, but he was trying to put the past behind him. I thought everyone did a great job here.
Story: A boy blackmails his neighbour after suspecting him to be a Nazi war criminal. This is actually much different than what I was thinking it would be about. The atmosphere of the movie is pretty dark with the content it deals with. It honestly isn't the most thrilling of Stephen King's adaptations, but it still keeps your attention. There are a few really well done moments. The ending here was absolutely excellent even if it's wandered from the actual ending.
Directing/Writing: I have seen a good chunk of Bryan Singer's films. I usually enjoy them quite a bit. I hope this keeps my faith in Bryan Singer alive. This is however my first rodeo with Brandon Boyce. He has written things I have heard of though. If this is good I might check them out as well.
Final Thought: It's definitely not what I was expecting it to be. It's not necessarily a bad thing though. It was pretty interesting with a few memorable scenes. I did think it was a bit too long given that this was only a novella in the first place. It isn't the typical Stephen King story you will see. If you are a fan of his I would still recommend checking this one out.
Apt Pupil (1998) Reviews
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When I was a teenager, one of my best buddies loved 'Different Seasons' which was his favorite Stephen King's book. Did I read it actually? I'm not sure... Anyway, 'Different Seasons' is a collection of four Stephen King novellas with a focus on a realistic drama than the usual horror fiction for which King is famous. Out of those four stories, three have been adapted in movies and two of them became some bonafide classic ('The Shawshank Redemption' and 'Stand by Me'). This movie was the last one they made and the least known but I thought it was not bad at all. The main character was played by Brad Renfro, a talented but troubled actor who died very young (If I remembered correctly, he died around the same time as Heath Ledger). Against him, you have Ian McKellen before he reached worldwide fame with the 'X-Men' and 'The Lord of the Rings' franchise. McKellen was, as usual, excellent, Renfro was also pretty good and the story was really interesting but, as usual with Stephen King, the whole thing became rather preposterous at some point. For Bryan Singer, this feature was rather a step down after the amazing 'Usual Suspects' but that could be said about his whole career. To conclude, in spite of it flaws, it is actually a decent Stephen King adaptation and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.
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